“How Could You Possibly Outgrow a Suburban?”
Those words came from my neighbor as I pulled into our driveway with our almost new 15 passenger van. It was a beauty! Silver. Not just gray. Silver makes it sound sportier. Right?
I sheepishly smiled and said, “Yeah, we did.” It was a funny moment but I suddenly realized that we were probably the topic of conversations amongst other neighbors as well. I’m ok with that. You may have noticed that I’m pretty proud of my family.
We (Kevin) started out with a Nissan truck (one of the first years they weren’t called Datsun, for those of you that remember pre 1984) that sat two and could squish a third, when necessary. From there the sedan with three car seats crammed into the back seat. It was cozy, but they were so cute!
When it was time to move up to the minivan phase, we were actually excited. I know many married couples feel like it’s a pull away from their cool, urban pre-kid days. But not us. We were never that cool and now had more seats we could fill!
And we did.
Enter Abigail and Aidan and within a few years, we outgrew the 7 passenger life and moved up to a Suburban. Things went along smoothly for a while until Katie, followed by Declan, made us a family of 10. No longer Suburban-friendly.
That became uncomfortably noticeable one day in our church parking lot. We pulled in and parked and just as a friend of ours, who happened to be a police officer, walked by and greeted us with a friendly “Good morning!”, every single door of the suburban burst open, including the tailgate. Kids poured out of every possible opening. It was painfully obvious there were too many kids in the vehicle. Our friend chuckled and looked the other way.
It was time for an upgrade…and Keira. Buying vehicles is our version of “family planning”. Every empty seat needed to be filled.
This brings us back to the beginning of the story, in front of our house, with my neighbor. She just smiled and shook her head. I found out a few years later that she spent a lot of time in her kitchen window watching my kids play together. One day as my fourth born, a particularly active little guy with a fantastic imagination was out killing off the dragons in our front yard, she drove by and rolled down her window. “How many dragons did you get today, Keegan?”
“All of them!”
She laughed and waved at me. I know she thought we were nuts, but she also knew we were having a fantastic time.
And obviously, we need a gigantic van to contain it all.